Special Pre-release 2021 Pyranha Scorch Video Review
(by Nick Hinds)
Check out more of Nick’s detailed Scorch review for more texture…
I can’t fit in a Waka OG; my legs are too long, the thigh hooks are too aggressive and the boat isn’t designed for a 210-pound dude who is 6’3″ with a 36-inch inseam. But let me tell you a little secret, the Large Scorch is the money. I freaking loved this boat for so many reasons on my pre-release test in the Northwest. In fact, wanting to be critical and come up with negative feedback isn’t going to be easy. It seems Graham Mackereth , Robert Pearson, and now David Fusilli are coming with a confluence of design ideas that has put my other creek boats into retirement. The retail cost of this bad boy is $1,449, so save those pennies and invest.
An edge that doesn’t trip you up, but gives you control that is staggering. Rocker that doesn’t slow you down, and a stern which doesn’t tap on shallow features and mank. A boat that punches holes, and has primary and secondary stability. Why does this boat seem like the evolution of all creek design rolled into one?
Granted, I paddled it one day on my favorite Class IV creek, Canyon Creek of the Lewis near Battleground and Amboy, Washington. This isn’t the Little White Salmon or Robe Canyon. Fact is, I can tell a lot from this one run after owning a CFS, 4 Embudos, a Creeker 225, an original Large Nomad, 2 Jefes, a Grande, 2 Mega Rockers, 4 Everests, a Burn 2 Large, a Recon 93, 2 Large Mambas, a Machno, a 9R Large, a 9R2 Large and have paddled many more creekers.
I’m not trying to brag, I just want it to be known the seat time I acquired making shit money since 2003, working for Paddler Magazine, Kayak Magazine, Canoe & Kayak, AW, Werner Paddles, and now Paddling Life. For more time than I care to admit I have gauged my success in any week on the four days or more I have gotten on the river. My goddamn elbow has arthritis, I can’t even hardly put a randed skirt on a boat any more. Since I moved to the Northwest and escaped the winters of Colorado, I don’t keep a river journal or log. That would just induce more arthritis, writing down Groundhog Day experiences, wasting the little gripping energy my gnarled right palm and hand has left in it. Dupuytren’s contracture has fucked my grip, I can’t even straighten my pinky and am worried I will loose it in a rope or car door one day soon. I have to used a bent shaft most of the time due to tendons contracting, it is a congenital defect which will cut my career short if I don’t get surgery soon. So I’m a veritable shit show, but still love paddling whitewater, and this is the boat to keep me getting after it.
2021 Pyranha Scorch First Impressions
When I sat in the boat first I was sort of afraid it was too big for me. The Viking Leif Anderson had just paddled it down the Little White. The seat was set back just one notch from center. I could fit my hiking boots in the damn thing with the way the rack and foot brace was attached and had to move the bulkhead towards me. This is weird since I am maxed out in the longer 9R2 Large on foot room and use a slimmer Soul shoe just to stave off 45-minutes of stretching. I put on my skirt and didn’t take it off until two hours later at after paddling across the lake. With a little bit of a scoff I thought, I need to adjust the seat and get some thicker-souled creek shoes if I can keep this boat and it isn’t too big for my old fat ass.
Then I peeled out at the put-in and was confused coming from being in my 9R2 Large. Why is this thing still tracking with all this volume and rocker? Why is it nimble and forgiving with this hard ass edge? What sorcery have they created, did they make a deal with the devil? God dammit if I had his boat in my twenties in Colorado I might not have had to brace on Fish Creek so hard and sheer off my AC joint for my first shoulder surgery. Maybe if I had this on the Ohanapacosh instead of the edgy Burn 2 Large I wouldn’t have dislocated my shoulder in Petrified rapid, ruining my Class V confidence the past 11 years. I am back to 90 percent on my right side brace and now shy away from ever rolling on the right. No cares or worries with the Scorch: You don’t need to know how to roll a kayak when you can keep this boat online. I didn’t flip once on my first lap down CC Lewis at 550 cfs. I tried to roll a few times in the eddies, and it rolls super well too.
Possibly if you were a beginner on a creek you could use the forgiving nature of the Machno. The buoyancy of no edge if you lived in the southeast or Colorado and just bounced down rocks for creeking experience. That ain’t where I live; I live in the beautiful NW where we have water, options and you can choose mank or avoid it. I want glorious water boofs, waterfalls, stout rapids and fun. This boat stays dry, rides up over anything, stays on top and punches holes. Dammit, my wife is going to stab me in my sleep if I add a 23rd kayak to my horde. Yes my name is Nick, I have a problem. I horde kayaking gear of all varieties. I could start a small kayak shop in my garage, but I don’t loan out boats to anyone. That would compromise my stash see, I am a classic hoarder. And I don’t want people taking plastic off any of my babies…
And when I buy this boat for whomever has it first in stock, I am going to test my marriage again. My wife is a saint you might think; well, I bet she is going to demand a medium after she tries it out herself. Best way to get her to back off hurting me is to get her in the fold and retire her Burn 2 Medium that she has been loving for all these years. That’s the plan and my synopsis and I am sticking to it.
A Note from the Designer, Dave Fusilli
“The ultimate goal with this boat was to have something that would skip over everything. The dream came from the idea of a 10-foot boat (the X) with more rocker than anything, but with a good edge to keep control. I really wanted to go down the Little White and basically gap the flatwater, so I’m constantly in motion with little effort into the next drop, but not the way you would paddle a long boat — like you’re on top of a damn hovercraft. Good rocker on a kayak keeps you up on the top of the water. This is a faster way to paddle. If you can stay on top of everything it can be more like riding than kayaking. So far I have only paddled the Large Scorch and I get this riding feeling. This makes me believe that my dreams are coming true when I paddle that X for the first time! I can’t F*&^in wait!” – Fusilli
Let the Scorch Stoke Begin
Below are some quotes from other large paddlers who have limited seat time in this first production Large Scorch that was air-freighted in front of the container so the stoke could be brought. Leif is a giant Viking with more experience in a boat than me, his wife has probably more kayaks than he does. Don’t hold this man’s terrible hair style against him, he has a brain under there which has earned him a Phd. They live at the BZ takeout.
Cody rips shit up on the regular, but I have never boated with him as I stick to V- and IV these days. I see him post in Robe Group often. Both of these boys know their business and business is good. Below are their first impressions as well.
Quote from Leif Anderson :
“I liked the boat a lot. I only tried it once, on the Little White Salmon at about 3.8 feet. The size felt good. I’m 260, 6’7″ and I paddle a large Nirvana, large 9r2, and a Steeze. The Scorch was comfy and felt like just about the right width. It was sporty and easy to buck around with the hips, but I didn’t feel like I was going to get swallowed anywhere. Like the boils below Spirit were chill, for example.”
Quote from Cody Beach:
“I thought the boat paddled very intuitively. It was fast and stayed on top nicely. It held a line better than any boat I’ve paddled recently and was still maneuverable. I feel like I needed some extra foam under the seat to raise me up a bit. Stoked on the design, it’s a game changer. I am 6’3” and 195 lbs.”
Any feedback on how this does in the manky stuff. I live in Colorado. Looks like the scorch would be great in gore type stuff, you mentioned maybe not so great for Co. but then said you wished you had it for fish creek.
I think all that kick rocker in the front and tail will make it excellent in the mank, the hard edge doesn’t seem to hang up too much due to the flat planing hull portion of the boat. I think it will be awesome for Colorado Mike!
Did you have a chance to surf it at all? The ability to enjoy some wave surfing especially is an important feature in a river runner to me…
I didn’t surf it much, not much of that option on CC Lewis. There is just a lot of kick rocker in the front and tail would make it hard to control surfing. I bet the X or 10 ft version would surf like a dream, I saw Dave Fusilli surfing that prototype like the boss he is.
Nick how was the boat when things didn’t go as planned? Did the edges get trippy and how well does it recover?
How did the scorch do when things didn’t go as planned? Does it recover well?
Would you take it on the most challenging stuff you run or would you want a different boat for that? I am very interested, seems like we are in similar places in kayaking/life, I appreciate your perspective.
Joe to be honest, I still have yet to have another day in it. I felt surprisingly comfy in it but that hard rear edge and lower volume tail has me curious.. The amazing amount of bow and stern rocker is a different thing than any other boat I have paddled. It did really seem like on something I knew well like CC Lewis I was very on line and stable, but when shit hits the fan I am not sure how it would go. I am about to take delivery on a Scorch X the 10 footer so I can get some more beta on that one soon.
Awesome thx, I look forward to hearing more. I am getting back into technical white water after a break. I won’t be running the hardest stuff I can find anymore and don’t mind the idea of a little extra margin of error, but I really don’t want to paddle a pumpkin either. I wish there was another season of reviews out on the scorch but is is striking how blown away everyone seems to be by it. Lots of reviews from folks that aren’t in the videos who just love the boat in technical water.
Sorry about the double post above